Eastbridge Hospital

St. Thomas Becket was murdered on December 29, 1170 in Canterbury Cathedral. Almost immediately, pilgrims came to visit his tomb and the city had to provide accommodation for them. In 1190, Edward FitzOdbold founded a hospital on the bridge in the High Street and Becket's nephew Ralph was probably the first Master. The hospital initially prospered but declined after 150 years . It was refounded in 1342 by Archbishop Stratford, and was probably at its peak in the 1380s when Chaucer was writing his Canterbury Tales. In Chaucer's words pilgrims 'from every shire end of England to Canterbury they wend, the holy blissful martyr for to seek'.